Lauren and I hit the road Friday after work for scenic South Dakota for a weekend of festivities—four generations of November birthdays (Emmy, Jordan, Mom, Grandma Bell), early Thanksgiving, and the annual Carpenter Poultry Party.

Our travels took us to Granite Falls where we stopped at Prairie’s Edge Casino to try our luck at the penny slots. We each lost $6 before continuing on to the Watertown Arby’s for dinner. Soon we arrived home and spent the evening chatting with the family.

The next morning Lauren and I awoke to the chirping of Peyton, Emmy, and Hudson, who all demanded to be held, picked up, carried, spun around, and anything else I could do to them. I decided the best way to handle the Krogman children was to give them everything they could handle and then some. I spun Hudson around 25 times before setting him down and watching him stumble around the dining room in a daze.

We ate our Thanksgiving dinner and I quickly fell asleep on a chair downstairs. After an hour of being left to rest, I was awoken by Peyton who was jabbing me in the face with a shark tooth necklace, requesting I go play with her. Instead I played a game of Scattergories with the adults.

That night we took in the Carpenter Poultry Party. I had told Lauren tales of the last few times I’d taken in the event, so she was ready to party down! Unfortunately this year turned out to be the smallest, quietest crowd I’d ever encountered. But I did get to fulfill a lifelong dream by calling the Bingo numbers. Alex and Lauren also took their turns calling the games. For our efforts, we received an extra turkey in addition to the one Lauren won playing Bingo.

Sunday morning, Dad signed off on the paperwork and Lauren and I had become owners of a 2008 Impala! Our first official time driving it as owners was daunting; we would be put to the test quickly as we trekked home on icy roads, going well below the speed limit for much of the drive. “Slow and steady wins the race, that’s why Ryan goes at a slower pace!” was the song Mom sang to us as we left home, and her advice proved to be wise.

Here are a few of the top photos from the weekend.

Jordan Hudson Krogman Ryan Glanzer
Biiiig three! It's me with sister Jordan and nephew Hudson.
Alex Ryan Glanzer Carpenter South Dakota poultry party
Alex and I called the Bingo numbers at the Carpenter Poultry Party
Alex Ann Hadley Glanzer
Alex and Ann Glanzer with daughter Hadley
Lauren and Noel Hofer with the Madsens
Kaley, Kim, Valerie, and Noel welcomed Lauren to Carpenter.

Credit Card Debt Free!
As I mentioned on Facebook to much fanfare, my $397.79 payment to Visa on Friday morning ended by decade-long battle with credit card debt. I now possess a $0 balance on Discover, MasterCard, and Visa.  I got myself into lots of credit card troubles during the college years when I paid for road trips to Las Vegas, Tucson, and Detroit/Toronto with Discover. I also remember paying $800 for a group of 23 friends to take in a Twins game. Though I was reimbursed with cash, I didn’t put it towards the credit card. Just stupid stuff like that kept happening over the years, including fun but expensive trips to New York in 2007 and Las Vegas in 2009. It wasn’t until Lauren and I backed out of our plans to buy a house last summer and put our house savings towards debt that we started to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Short Thanksgiving Work Week
It is a short but busy three days as we approach Thanksgiving. As usual, Lauren must now be to work at 7am on Mondays, so that means I too must be to work early. Tonight after work we’re catching up with old softball friends Jessica and Jon for happy hour. Tomorrow we’re certain to celebrate Travis’s 28th birthday, with or without Travis’s knowledge/presence. And Wednesday a big group of local dudes are taking in the Timberwolves’ “Guys Night Out” promo. $15 gets a ticket, hotdog, beer, and meet-and-greet with the Timberwolves Dancers. If you’re interested, let me know. Thursday is Thanksgiving at the Poulters’, and Friday I have the day off (but not Lauren). I had considered a morning trip to Mystic Lake Casino… again, if anyone’s interested, let me know!